Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on fauna
Document Type: Report
Editor(s): Jane Kapler Smith
Contributor(s): Jane Kapler Smith; David Scott Schreiner; Edmund S. Telfer; Robert G. Hooper; Mark H. Huff; L. Jack Lyon
Publication Year: 2000

Cataloging Information

  • Abies spp.
  • Ambystoma cingulatum
  • amphibians
  • arthropods
  • boreal forests
  • catastrophic fires
  • cavity nesting birds
  • chaparral
  • Colinus virginianus
  • community ecology
  • coniferous forests
  • Crotalus adamanteus
  • deciduous forests
  • deserts
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • ecotones
  • education
  • fire adaptations (animals)
  • fire exclusion
  • fire frequency
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire regime
  • fire suppression
  • flatwoods
  • forest management
  • fuel accumulation
  • Gopherus agassizii
  • Gopherus polyphemus
  • grasslands
  • habitat
  • habitat conversion
  • hardwood forests
  • insects
  • Juniperus spp.
  • land use
  • landscape ecology
  • Lepidoptera
  • Lycaeides melissa
  • mammals
  • multiple resource management
  • nongame birds
  • openings
  • Picidae
  • Picoides borealis
  • pine forests
  • pine hardwood forests
  • Pinus palustris
  • Poa spp.
  • population ecology
  • post-fire recovery
  • prairies
  • presettlement vegetation
  • public information
  • Quercus spp.
  • range management
  • raptors
  • reptiles
  • seeds
  • shrublands
  • small mammals
  • snags
  • species diversity (animals)
  • species diversity (plants)
  • succession
  • threatened and endangered species (animals)
  • understory vegetation
  • vulnerable species or communities
  • wetlands
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
  • wildlife food plants
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 8, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 1286
Tall Timbers Record Number: 12448
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.88:RMRS-42 vol. 1
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Fires affect animals mainly through effects on their habitat. Fires often cause short-term increases in wildlife foods that contribute to increases in populations of some animals. These increases are moderated by the animals' ability to thrive in the altered, often simplified, structure of the postfire environment. The extent of fire effects on animal communities generally depends on the extent of change in habitat structure and species composition caused by fire. Stand-replacement fires usually cause greater changes in the faunal communities of forests than in those of grasslands. Within forests, stand-replacement fires usually alter the animal community more dramatically than understory fires. Animal species are adapted to survive the pattern of fire frequency, season, size, severity, and uniformity that characterized their habitat in presettlement times. When fire frequency increases or decreases substantially or fire severity changes from presettlement patterns, habitat for many animal species declines.

Online Link(s):
Smith, Jane Kapler (editor). 2000. Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on fauna. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 1. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 83 p.